By Dr. Cammi Balleck
How much stress is your child under? What is stress? Stress is a function of the demands placed on us and our ability to meet them. These demands often come from outside sources, such as family, jobs, friends, fears, thoughts, or school. So stress can affect anyone who feels overwhelmed, even kids. In preschoolers, separation from parents can cause anxiety. As kids get older, academic and social pressures (especially from trying to fit in) create stress.
You may not realize it but many kids are under stress and it is affecting their health. Stress related illness is the number one cause of hospital visits for adults. Compared with what adults face, it might seem like kids don’t have that much to stress about. But kids have their own concerns, and sometimes feel stress, just as adults do. And kids’ stresses can be just as overwhelming, particularly if they don’t have effective coping strategies. Most kids don’t know how to cope with stress, or even know that stress is what they are feeling. Most adults don’t even know how to cope with stress. For kids, feelings of stress, frustration, helplessness, hurt, or anger can be overwhelming, especially if they don’t know how to release the feelings.
What you can do for them:
Shut off the news and don’t let your kids hear you talking about your anxiety caused by the world that you get from the news.
• Handle your stress wisely. If you are stressed, you need to first handle your own stress so your kids learn from you. As a parent, it is important you recognize if your kid is under stress. You may not be able to prevent your kids from feeling frustrated, sad, or angry, but you can provide the tools they need to cope with these emotions.
• Make sure your child is getting proper rest; kids need a good 9-10 hours a night.
• Make sure your child is getting good nutrition, limit sugar, processed foods, no caffeine, and no sodas. Kids don’t need caffeine and shouldn’t have it, it is only a stressor to their body, this includes iced tea, not just coffee.
• All kids need to be on a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral, especially if they are stressed.
• Talk with them about what stresses them, maybe you need to help them cut back on afterschool activities or help them exercise, do yoga, dance, read, or journal to relax. Let your kids know that it’s OK to feel angry, scared, lonely, or anxious, and that other people all have those feelings. Be sure to reassure them that everything is ok.
– Cammi Balleck, Ph.D, is a leading Happy Hormone Doctor. She specializes in teaching how to unleash your happy hormones and nutrition. She graduated in 2003 with a Doctorate Degree in Naturopathic Health. Cammi has been the owner of the successful Elite Wellness Center since. She has also been a Director at Colorado Northwestern Community College since 2007. Cammi’s passions are helping everyone improve their health, in addition to finding their full potential, accepting who they are and helping others live happy, healthy, whole lives. More information can be found at /